QUESTION: How do I become a pro at fulfilling my customers’ orders at times to avoid having them cancel before I deliver or even return it when the dispatch arrives at their door?
"Why have I not received my order for the past few weeks?”
"I bought a phone from your store and was able to use it for just two weeks before it went off and has not come on again.”
"I have sent you my Blackberry phone for exchange over 3 months ago and despite several calls, no one has been able to provide tangible feedback.”
These type of complaints terrify online sellers and if a resolution is not reached on time, they can mar any business whether online or not. But therein lies the existential dilemma for ecommerce. To begin with, people expect better prices, if not "deals" in online purchases. That shaves the margins of many ecommerce businesses to single-digits. So how would they be able to afford outstanding and personalized customer service?
Akin to physical retail, ecommerce too works on maximizing visitors to their store. But unlike physical retail, an ecommerce merchant cannot simply hand over the merchandise to the customer over the counter. The goods need to be packed and shipped, often across state boundaries.
As if that was not enough, issues dealing with returned goods, or reverse logistics in general can be especially irritating for ecommerce businesses, as they do not have a physical location where goods can be returned.
As a seller and for your package fulfillment to be effective, you must pay attention to all of these:
- Speed: The goods must not just get there. They must get there in time, every time. This is why you need to deliver to the mall drop of centers as soon as possible.
- Accuracy: The goods must get there, but not just any goods. The exact goods that were ordered must get there. SO you have to ensure you cross check the products packed to the item customer delivered before dropping them off at our service centers.
- Scalability: Sure you can get the goods there now, but as you grow, will your ability to fulfill grow with you? You must consider this when setting up your store so you don’t disappoint your buyers in the long run.
- Holiday Shopping Surge: The holiday season and other occasions cause surges in shopper traffic. You have to ensure that your store can withstand the surge and so also your fulfillment to our drop off locations. You have to ensure you don’t deliver your buyer’s Christmas order after Christmas.